mcloudyn.png
Saturday August 13th, 2022 5:30AM

Donald takes over for Stenson as Europe's Ryder Cup captain

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Luke Donald jumped at a second chance to be Ryder Cup captain for Europe, taking over just 14 months before the 2023 matches in Italy without knowing whether players who sign up for the Saudi riches of LIV Golf will be available to him.

Donald only knew that unlike Henrik Stenson, stripped of the captaincy for signing up with the LIV Golf rival league, he wouldn't be going anywhere.

“I'm giving you my word that I will be here for the next 14 months,” Donald said Monday in a video call. “I'm excited about this opportunity. I really am. The Ryder Cup means so much to me and I'm not going to take this lightly. So I will see you in Rome.”

Stenson, who pledged full support to the European tour in March when he was announced as captain, changed his mind four months later and signed with LIV Golf for what the Daily Telegraph reported to be a $50 million bonus.

Europe turned to Donald, a finalist for the job in March and a former world No. 1 who played on four Ryder Cup teams that all ended in a European celebration.

He compiled a 10-4-1 record. His last appearance as a player was in 2012 at Medinah, when he took down Bubba Watson in the lead singles match as Europe staged the greatest road comeback in Ryder Cup history.

Donald couldn't have guessed then that it would be his last time playing the Ryder Cup. He went on to be vice captain for Thomas Bjorn in France and for Padraig Harrington last September at Whistling Straits, the only time Donald experienced losing.

Mostly, he remembers sitting next to Darren Clarke in the opening ceremony at Oakland Hills in 2004, his Ryder Cup debut. Donald said Clarke turned to him and said, "Once you play in one, you’ll never want to miss another.”

Stenson had other ideas, and it paid an immediate dividend when the Swede won in his LIV Golf debut on Sunday to collect $4 million, plus $375,000 for his team finishing second.

“Henrik has made his decisions and he’s got his reasons for it, and I’m not really here to judge that,” said Donald, a former NCAA champion at Northwestern with 13 victories worldwide. “I'm certainly excited about the opportunity, and when I found out I had a second chance, I grabbed at it, to be honest with you. This is something I’ve always wanted to do.”

The 44-year-old Donald spent 56 weeks at No. 1 in the world in 2011 and 2012 while vying for the top spot in the ranking with Rory McIlroy. He also was the first player to capture the money title on the PGA Tour and European tour in the same year.

And now he gets a job that doesn't figure to be easy. Some of the aging, longtime Ryder Cup players for Europe don't see why their eligibility should be removed for playing on another circuit. A British judge issued a temporary stay that allowed four players to compete in the Scottish Open last month.

Europe has yet to announce its qualifying criteria or when it will start, which usually is about a year out from the late September 2023 matches at Marco Simone.

“Over the next few months, hopefully we’ll have some clarity on that situation,” Donald said.

Donald said he wasn't the first captain to cope with trying times, citing Sam Torrance and Curtis Strange as captains when the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks postponed the 2001 matches by a year, and Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker leading their teams as the United States was starting to ease COVID-19 protocols. Europe had hardly any fan support in Wisconsin because of travel restrictions.

Inside the ropes, the task is daunting. Donald takes over as Europe, the dominant team in the Ryder Cup for the last 25 years, is at a crossroads. A young and powerful U.S. team scored the biggest rout ever over Europe last September at Whistling Straits, winning 19-9.

“Sometimes failure can really motivate you, and I certainly know that the players will be motivated to win back that cup,” Donald said. “And I will be doing everything I can to get those guys in the right frame of mind to put us in a position.”

Zach Johnson is the U.S. captain for the matches at Marco Simone in Italy. The U.S. team from Whistling Straits has lost Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau. They all have gone at least 16 months since their last win.

Donald said Thomas Bjorn and Edoardo Molinari will stay on as vice captains.

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, College Sports, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Brittney Griner's trial resumes amid intensified diplomacy
Since Brittney Griner last appeared in her trial for cannabis possession, the question of her fate has expanded from a cramped courtroom on Moscow’s outskirts to the highest level of Russia-U.S. diplomacy
3:44PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Threat of protests, violent escalation stirs fears in Iraq
Thousands of Shiites gathered in Baghdad for a counter-rally called by Iran-backed groups against their rival, an influential cleric whose followers are staging a sit-in inside the Iraqi parliament, have left the area
3:44PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Harris to announce $1B to states for floods, extreme heat
The White House is making more than $1 billion available to states to address flooding and extreme heat exacerbated by climate change
3:41PM ( 6 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
More rain, more bodies in flooded Kentucky mountain towns
Another round of rainstorms are hitting flooded Kentucky mountain communities
2:53PM ( 55 minutes ago )
Browns QB Deshaun Watson suspended for 6 games
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy following accusations of sexual misconduct made against him by two dozen women in Texas during massage treatments
2:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
EXPLAINER: Watson discipline didn't require legal charges
Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns found out the severity of the quarterback's punishment when he was suspended for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy
2:33PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Stenson wins LIV Golf event and gets $4 million in debut
Two weeks after Henrik Stenson was stripped of his Ryder Cup captaincy for Europe, he's a winner in his debut on the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series
7:54PM ( 19 hours ago )
Finau wins Rocket Mortgage for 2nd straight PGA Tour victory
Tony Finau ran away with the Rocket Mortgage Classic on Sunday at Detroit Golf Club to become the first PGA Tour player in three years to win consecutive regular-season events
6:18PM ( 21 hours ago )
Stenson has 3-shot lead in LIV Golf debut at Trump National
Henrik Stenson is on the verge of capping off an emotional 10 days
8:14PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Golf
Big 12's new boss Yormark learning NCAA issues in real time
New Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has been learning the NCAA's issues in real time during a period of sweeping change and uncertainty
12:54PM ( 1 day ago )
Pac-12's Kliavkoff jabs Big 12, touts future after USC, UCLA
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff says his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA
7:34PM ( 2 days ago )
AAC commish: Coordinated response needed to stabilize FBS
The commissioner of the American Athletic Conference says athlete compensation, the transfer portal and conference realignment have created a perfect storm for an unsettled situation
3:18PM ( 4 days ago )
College Sports
Trump says Saudi-funded tour creates 'gold rush' for players
Former President Donald Trump says the Saudi-funded LIV Golf circuit has created a “gold rush” for players
8:09PM ( 3 days ago )
Finau, Pendrith share lead at 64 at Rocket Mortgage Classic
Tony Finau, coming off his third career victory on the PGA Tour, and Taylor Pendrith shared the first-round lead at 8-under 64 on Thursday in the Rocket Mortgage Classic
6:54PM ( 3 days ago )
Rocket Mortgage Classic gives players a shot before playoffs
The Rocket Mortgage Classic, nestled between the British Open and FedEx Cup playoffs, could have been a tournament to skip for all of the world’s best players
5:10PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Brittney Griner's trial resumes amid intensified diplomacy
Since Brittney Griner last appeared in her trial for cannabis possession, the question of her fate has expanded from a cramped courtroom on Moscow’s outskirts to the highest level of Russia-U.S. diplomacy
3:44PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Harris to announce $1B to states for floods, extreme heat
The White House is making more than $1 billion available to states to address flooding and extreme heat exacerbated by climate change
3:41PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Browns QB Watson suspended 6 games, NFL weighs appeal
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was suspended for six games after being accused by two dozen women in Texas of sexual misconduct during massage treatments, in what a disciplinary officer said was behavior “more egregious than any before reviewed by the NFL.”
3:29PM ( 19 minutes ago )
Top election official races feature deniers of 2020 results
An Arizona lawmaker endorsed by former President Donald Trump and another lawmaker who also believes the 2020 election should be overturned are among four Republicans vying to be the top election officer in Arizona
3:24PM ( 24 minutes ago )
AP source: Brewers close to sending All-Star Hader to Padres
A person with knowledge of the deal says the San Diego Padres are close to acquiring All-Star closer Josh Hader from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for recently benched closer Taylor Rogers and three other players
3:16PM ( 32 minutes ago )